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What Are Functional Waters, and Do They Really Work?

Functional waters are any brand of H2O “enhanced” with special ingredients, like herbs or antioxidants, that supposedly bring health benefits. Some types make sense to drink: Water with added electrolytes may be useful if you exercise a lot and sweat heavily and need to replenish sodium and other electrolytes quickly, or if you have a diarrheal illness and arepotentially losing electrolytes that way. And waters with added vitamins can give you a nutritional boost (though you absorb vitamins better when you get them through food).

RELATED:15 Big Benefits of Water

Be more skeptical of any brandsthat claimto alterthe bodys pH, as well as onesthat have added hydrogento purportedlyload youupwith extra antioxidant power. Theres no credible scienceto back these claims. One2012 lab study found that alkaline water with a pH of8.8 neutralized pepsin, a stomach enzyme involved in breaking down food proteins and producing stomach acid, which suggests it might help soothe acid refluxbut it hasnt been studied in people yet.For the most part, your body is designed to maintain its own pH balance naturally, and what you eat or drink doesnt change that.

Healths medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.

Source: Health.com